By some measures Cleveland has one of the most expensive transit fares in the country. Even so, in 2015 the Regional Transit Authority—the agency in charge of Cleveland’s public transit system—proposed a 25-cent fare hike along with a 1.3% reduction in service. It was the latest in a series of tightening squeezes on riders to plug a yearslong decline in public funding for the system. “Since 2005 our transit fares have doubled while bus service has been cut by over 25%,” Chris Stocking, the treasurer and co-founder of Clevelanders for Public Transit, said. “Clevelanders are paying more and more for less and less service. We basically just said enough is enough.”
Around the same time of the fare hike proposal, funding for a collaborative that had been advocating for public transit alongside a slate of other environmental justice issues had run dry. That left a potential gap just as riders needed advocates most. So Chris and a group of volunteers decided to step up to keep fighting for public transit, bringing to life Clevelanders for Public Transit (CPT).
Continue reading Awesome Project: Clevelanders for Public Transit
It’s still September but we’re ready to say that this was one of our best years yet in Cleveland. Really! All across the city, neighbors proved what we’ve long known—when you set out to get good done, Clevelanders are ready to lend you a hand.
Earlier this year we launched three crowdfunding matches—the Common Ground match with support from The Cleveland Foundation and Neighborhood Connections, the Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Match Fund with support from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, and the Racial Equity Matching Fund with support from Neighborhood Connections. With ioby’s match fund opportunities, resident donations on ioby.org are matched dollar for dollar, helping to grow neighbor’s impact even further. We closed out all three matches last month, and all told neighbors have crowdfunded over $180,000 together to fight for racial justice, bring art and cultural opportunities to the neighborhood, bridge divides to strengthen our communities, and grow our movement for positive civic change.
Continue reading Getting good done in Cleveland: Over $180,000 raised with matches
It isn’t often that have the chance to come together to explore what it means to be a community, and explore what it would take to make our communities stronger together. This past Sunday, the Common Ground convening offered the exciting opportunity to do just that. Organized by our friends at the Cleveland Foundation, neighbors across the Cleveland region came together to share a meal, and tackle a common theme; the environments that shape who we are.
It was a powerful, and moving, day–as our Cleveland Action Strategist Dawn Arrington can attest to. But it’s just the beginning. With generous support from the Cleveland Foundation, we’re excited to announce a new match opportunity to help carry the energy forward.
Continue reading Double your donations in Cleveland
Opportunities to serve our communities are everywhere, and can take many forms. Some of the most popular community service ideas are rooted in volunteering with an existing organization—like a soup kitchen, school, or house of worship. We at ioby think this type of community service is stellar, and we applaud anyone who makes the time to get good done with an organization they love.
But we also know there are some that are moved to act by the unique issues in their own neighborhood, and want to imagine, build, and execute their equally unique community service ideas. That’s why we’ve been helping residents bring their good ideas to life for over 10 years. ioby’s community crowdfunding platform—and the expert fundraising support that goes with it—gives people the tools and information they need to raise the cash, awareness, and buy-in necessary to take the positive change they envision from idea to reality.
Below, we’re happy to share 10 of our (many) favorite ioby projects that illustrate how creative, fun, and impactful resident-led community service ideas can be.
Continue reading 10 creative community service ideas
Racial justice has always been a key value to us here at ioby. We know that in many of the communities we serve, people have been denied justice and denied opportunity. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t strong, resilient communities. On the contrary, they are vibrant neighborhoods with powerful leaders who fight every day to work for a stronger, more just world.
This Black History month, we want to highlight the neighbor-led projects that honor the powerful legacy of Black communities, Black people, and Black culture, and the projects that are leading the way to stronger, fairer, and more just communities.
Many of these projects are still fundraising, and donating to them can be a powerful start to kicking off your own racial justice project!
Continue reading 6 crowdfunding projects that celebrate Black history
Fighting for racial justice has never been more important, and Clevelanders are rising up to the challenge. Whether its hosting neighborhood conversations, or challenging injustice in the halls of power, Clevelanders are fighting for justice right here in our backyards.
ioby and Neighborhood Connections are excited to be a part of that fight, and are launching a dollar-for-dollar match for eligible projects up to $2,000. Do you have an idea for a project that confronts injustice and nurtures racial equity in your neighborhood? We want to hear about it! Continue reading Fight for racial justice, double your donations in Cleveland!
The Ohio City Bicycle Co-op has been an anchor for Cleveland’s biking community for years, maybe even before they had a physical space, or even a name. Jim Sheehan, the Co-op’s Executive Director, has been involved with Co-op since it was an informal group of bike lovers who got together with a cool idea back in 1995.
“We did an earn-a-bike program and got hooked on teaching a kid to ride and keep their bike running, and they’re happy and smiling and you can go on to the next one,” Jim says. The program was a huge hit, and since then, the Co-op has grown significantly. They moved into a donated storefront in 2002, and then into a “little shack on the river,” along the Cuyahoga, before their community of bikers outgrew the space. In 2010, they moved into their current location on Columbus Road; a 16,000 square foot former industrial building that happens to sit across the street from their very first shop, a reminder of just how much they’ve grown. Looking to offer still more to their community, Jim and the OCBC recently wrapped up their first ioby crowdfunding project, and fundraised over $8,000 to replace workshop equipment and offer even more high-quality workshops.
Continue reading Awesome Project: Ohio City Bicycle Coop
It can feel like too much. Fake news, real news, natural disasters, mass shootings, racism, sexism, voter suppression—and let’s not forget bee colony collapse disorder.
Troubling as they are, even these big threats sometimes feel like just the tip of the iceberg. Especially when we hear assertions like, “Americans are less socially and politically engaged now than 30 years ago,” it’s easy to conclude that consumerism has become our unquestioned king, to lament that our humanity has gone up in smoke, and to yell into the wind, “For crying out loud, what is civic engagement now, anyway?!”
Friend, we feel you. But at ioby, we also have the privilege of working every day with residents all across the country who look at challenges and see opportunities. These people are aware of the problems—large and small—in our neighborhoods, schools, parks, roads, downtowns, and town halls, but they also know that they can help create solutions, right where they live. These people are walking out their front doors, linking arms with their neighbors, and saying, “Let’s do this.” Continue reading What is civic engagement in a bad-news world?
As our beloved colleague Indigo moves on from her role at ioby, we’re excited to welcome Dawn Arrington as our new Cleveland Action Strategist! She brings her own big shoes to the role, and has no shortage of big ideas for her city. Service is in Dawn’s DNA and she’s ready to get to work.
“My mom, my step dad, my father, his twin brother, my uncle, and several cousins all served in the military in one capacity or another,” she says. “I don’t think everyone needs to serve that way, but I do believe that we all have a duty as residents of a place to maintain and contribute to it. That was instilled in me at an early age.” It’s an ethic that she’s stuck to throughout her life. Continue reading Meet Dawn, our new Cleveland Action Strategist!
You could say the concept of crowdfunding is as old as civilization itself—or, at least as old as money. The act of pooling assets to achieve a common goal is nothing new. (Fun fact: did you know the Statue of Liberty was a crowdfunded project?)
In the past 20 years or so, crowdfunding campaigns to launch new businesses, pay for medical expenses, and support charitable missions have become as popular as venture capital meetings and bake sales. The internet has revolutionized individuals’ and organizations’ ability to drum up funding for things people care about, and for that, we thank it. But crowdfunding is not a one-trick pony whose only talent is raising cash. Continue reading Crowdfunding for Advocacy and Organizing